« AnteriorContinuar »
see cause; only I conceive it my duty to make a returne to yo same Place from whence I reëd his Maties commands. There are but two things in my Orders wel seem of difficultie to be executed; one is, so to disarme all Papists, according to former Presid", as they may not be dangerous to yo Governm'. Herein I observe ye addition of ye words = According to former Presidents = w" being joyn'd to those limitations mention'd in yo Adress, viz., soe to disarme, etc., you leave me in such difficulties as, let me doe what I will, I may be lyable to blame one way or other, for should I performe this too remisly, ye House of Cofions may take check at it & yo fault would rest upon me, as if I had not done my duty. Agen, should I be strict in ye execution of this, I might be condemned for not proceeding according to former Presid". I doe wish y Lóp would only woo yo selfe recollect who yo person was that proposed yo addition of these words, not that I care or desire to know it, but only that y Lóp may satisfy yo self whether towas done wo friendly intentions towards me. Presid" of disarming Papists are not so ready to be found, yet here-to-fore, as I am informed, there have bin searches made for Arms, but this, tho' done by surprise, has seldom had any effect. How then can I promise my self success by such a method when so long warning has bin given of this intention to disarme them 2 Besides, yo Army is so small as tis impossible for them to doe yo worke, And for y” Justices of Peace, I conceive they are not Ministers proper for such an affaire; But above all, that well makes me shun this course of searching Houses is my knowledge of yo animosities that are among men of this Kingdome, & how forward many of them would be to lay hold on an opportunitie to show their litle spights & Malices upon their Neighbors; and I am sure, should this way be taken, I should soon hear hundreds of complaints of injuries & insolencies, nay, perhaps, sometimes of robberys done under colour & countenance of these searches. I have, therefore, chosen yo method mention'd in this enclosed Lie of issueing out a Proclamation to summon all Papists, by a certain day, to deliver up their Fire Arms to some persons appointed by me in each County to receive them, & I shall be very carefull in my choice of these Gentlemen entrusted in this business that they may doe their worke discreetly & yet effectually. I doe not find any President of y" Papists having their defensive Arms taken from them, save only in yo Time of y" usurpation, when none either of them, or Protestants who had served yo King, were suffer'd to weare Swords, wo"I looke upon as no Presid'. Upon this ground I have, according to my Orders, limited yo disarming to offensive Arms. The Peers of y" Kgdme (tho' Papists) have ever bin allow’d some small proportion of Fire Arms, as also other Gentlemen whom yo Lieu' should think fitt to licence. Herein likewise I shall observe former Presid", & grant particular Licences, wo such limitations as to yo numbers of Arms, as I shall see cause, respecting each man's qualitie & condition. The other point wherein there seems some difficultie in ye execution of ye Adress, is that wo" concerns yo Papists not inhabiting in Corporacions, & in this I must observe to y Lóp, that y” House of Coñons it selfe were doubtless in some mistake in their Adress, for they seem to suppose that y” Law here prohibites all Papists from inhabiting in Corporacions, woo I doe not finde provided ag' in any of these Acts. The Clause won they would referr to in their Adress is that in yo 31 Page of y" Act of Exptin, wo" provides = That no Papist or Popish Recusant shall be permitted to purchase or take Leases from any of y" 49 Interests of any Houses in Corporacions w"out y Licence & leave of y" Lo Lieu" & Councell = so as there is no generall Prohibition of their inhabiting in Corporacions, but only that they shall not buy or rent any Houses in Corporacions wo" belong to yo 49 men. The direction I have given in order to this affaire will, I hope, enable me both to fulfill yo ends of yo Act, & likewise to doe it in that manner as will be most agreeable to his Maties intentions; For when I am informed who yo Persons are that are admitted to live in Corporacions, by what Licences enabled so to doe, & what stock they employ in Trading, I shall then be prepared to judge won of them are fitt to enjoy this Priviledge of being continued Inhabitants therein. This only I must acquaint y Lóp as a reall Truth, that there is no nation under Heaven where yo Cofion People of yo Romish Religion are so absolutely led by their Priests as in this Kingdome, for 'tis most certain that in those Corporacions wo" are placed in Countrys inhabited for ye generallitie by Papists, if there be any one of that religion who sells any commoditie, no Protestant of y" same Trade can subsist or live in yo Towne woo him, for yo Priests doe enjoyn y” people not to buy any thing but of those of their owne religion. This may seem at first a little strange, but I doe assure y Lóp of y" veritie of it, & I doe tell it you y rather that y Lóp may see some care & circumspection is requisite in a matter of this nature, for as I would be loath yo King & Kgdme should loose yo benefitt of any considerable Trader, be he Papist, or of any other religion whatsoever, so I would be carefull in all cases, if it should be in my powr, wo" I am confident it doeth not on this occasion, so to mix ye Traders that they may all live one by another. Some doubt may be raised whether any Persons at all can now be denied this Priviledge in Corporacions, in regard to yo Powr reserved to yo Lieu' & Councell for licensing of them, wo" powr being executed & extended to all by virtue of his Maties Lie of y" 26 Feb., 1671, cannot agen be revoked, but observing that his Matie being desired in yo Adress to recally" aforesd Lie, & y direction of ye Councell being express, that no Papist be admitted to inhabite in any Corporacion, but only such & in such manner as y Laws in force doe allow, I doe presume it is his Maties Pleasure that this Lie be, as much as in him lyes, superseded. Yet, should I humbly offer my owne opinion, I cannot thinke that if yo Act of State made here upon that Lie were at first legall, it can now be reversed, for that Act of State constituting Rights in severall Private men, won they had not before, those Rights when granted can no otherwise be recalled than yo Act of Parliam' it selfe by wo" they are confirmed; & as y Lieu' & Councell cannot, after granting Licence to any single person to purchase or take Leases of these Houses in Corporacions, by any Order repeale this agen, but that single person will for ever after enjoy this Priviledge, so I conceive y” like will hold for all in generall, if yo Act of Parliam does justify yo admission of them all together. But there will be time enough to debate this after I have y' returns from yo severall Corporacions, before I proceed to yo Exclusion of any one man. Having just now recd y Lops of y" 21 instant, I shall deferry" answering yo particulars in it till yo next opportunitie.
The execution of yo late Adress will, I conceive, putt an end to all relating to these Titular Bīs, who now must quitt yo country; & I hear they are all preparing to be gone in obedience to it. One thing of difficulty I have had lying upon my hands in this Article of ye Adress, wo". I do not make known to any of my friends in England, but y' Grace only; It is this: Soon after my coming hither, Moloony, Titular Bp. of Killaloe, whom I look upon as yo most dangerous (because y” wisest) man of their Clergy, made a composure of all y” differences among yo men of their religion, particularly of ye disputes wo" were between their Titular Primate & Peter Talbot, as also of y" dissensions wo" were between Coll: Talbot & Coll: Fitzpatrick, and had upon yo matter well neer made an union among them all. I soon found that if this proceeded I should have no Intelligence of their practices & Actings, & believing it to be one of y" most important things I could doe, both for his Maties service and securitie of his Protestant subjects here, either to keep these men divided, or, if they were united, to break
CAMD. SOC. T WOL. I.
them agen, I made use of some Fryers, who all ways have their litle wrangles wo yo secular Clergy, to sett up Factions ago some of their Bishops, &, by encouraging these litle animosities among them, brought them at last to that pass, that they openly accused one another of exercising Ecclesiasticall jurisdiction, contrary to yo Laws of y" Land; severall examinations were taken, and yo Bishops brought in to swear one against another, all wo" has renewed their divisions to that heigth, as I believe they are now irreconcilable. By ye Adress of y" House of Cofions, all y Regulars are to be Banished; & should I putt this exactly in execution, I must send all these poor Fryers abroad who have done us this service, & expose them to great severities there; Indeed, I believe some of them have acted soe far, as they will certainly loose their lives should they be sent beyond sea. There are but very few—I am sure not above six or eight—who have bin principally instrumentall in this affaire; & for these, tho’ I will not give them any publick protection, yet my intention is to connive at them, & to give some Gentlemen in yo country charge to take care of them, that they be not troubled; for doubtless, in all these cases, ’tis impossible but something must be understood to be left to yo discretion of a
XC.—THE EARL OF ESSEX To SIR OLIVER ST. GEORGE.
So, - Dublin Castle, Novem' 15: '73. There is one Martine French," a Fryer, who has bin soe usefull to me, both by privately giving me Intelligence of all ye proceedings of their Clergy, & by appearing sometims & giving assistance to prosecute some of y" Romish Bishops, that should I send him
* In a later letter Essex asks that a reward may be paid this man, and protection given him.